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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 30 September 2017

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 30 September 2017]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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  Andrew Brunson

★ According to Bill Chappell of NPR, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has suggested a swap between an American pastor imprisoned in Turkey and a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania.

  The Turkish cleric is Fethullah Gülen who is in his late 70s, has been living in Pennsylvania in self exile since 1990s and is being accused by the Turkish government of being behind the failed coup attempt to overthrow Erdoğan in July of last year. Gülen is denying the charges

  The American pastor is Andrew Brunson, he has been living in Turkey for more than 20 years.

  He was arrested last October during the crackdown that followed the failed coup. Since then, he's been accused of being part of an armed terrorist group; one month ago, he was charged with espionage and attempting to overthrow the government, NPR reports. Andrew Brunson's family says that the charges are completely false.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Another news on the NPR was about the earthquakes in Turkey. Correspondent Peter Kenyon reporting from Istanbul writes that It has been 18 years since a magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit northwest Turkey, killing some 17,000 people and leaving half a million homeless.

  A series of government initiatives were designed to make the next big quake less deadly. But experts are warning that some of those protections have been lost in a rush to develop urban green spaces into lucrative apartment buildings and shopping malls.

  In 1999, the government, then led by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and a Democratic Left Party coalition, responded: Buildings were slated for strengthening; new construction standards were set. A key part of the plan was the designation of hundreds of urban green spaces as evacuation points, where people could escape collapsing buildings and other debris in the event of another large earthquake.

  But nearly 20 years later, many of those evacuation zones have vanished. They were sold off to friendly developers of the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

  Even top government officials have acknowledged - without holding anyone accountable - that development got out of hand. Turkey's environment minister Mehmet Ozhaseki has gone further, identifying corruption as a big part of the problem, Peter Kenyon adds. "Our cities developed very fast in the last 15 years, and corrupt illegal zoning decisions benefited developers and angered the public", the environment minister says.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Voice of America, regional powers have moved to restrict Kurds following a referendum vote in Iraqi Kurdistan.

  Among the powers is Turkey. Along with Iran and Iraq, Turkey has imposed restrictions on the Iraqi Kurds.

  Also, earlier this week, Iraqi soldiers took part in a joint military exercise with Turkey.

  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned on Saturday that Iraqi Kurdish authorities would "pay the price" for the independence referendum, which Turkey strongly opposed.

  Turkey has repeatedly threatened to impose economic sanctions on the Kurds, but has said any measures it takes would not be aimed at civilians.

  Read more at >> here <<

  S-400 missile defense system

★ Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a five-hour visit to Turkey on Thursday. Among the topics discussed was the Kurdish independence vote in Iraq. Both President Putin and President Erdoğan emphasized preserving the territorial integrity of Iraq.

  After the talks between the two leaders Reuters wrote that Russia is expected to lift a ban on imports of Turkish tomatoes in a few days. The ban is a relic of the Russian sanctions on Turkey when a Russian jet near the Syrian border was shut down by Turkey.

  In related news, an aide to the Russian President said on September 29 that Russia has received advance payment from Turkey for the Russian S-400 missile defense system. Turkey's purchasing of the Russian system has been causing concerns among its NATO allies, who say that the Russian air defense system is incompatible with NATO systems. According to the Anatolia News Agency of Turkey, the deal is worth around 2 1/2 billion dollars.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to Hürriyet daily news correspondent Emre Özpeynirci, Istanbul has been ranked as third worst city in the world for road rage, according to research carried out by a German automobile company.

  The study also put Istanbul in the worst 10 cities for traffic congestion.

  Dusseldorf ranked first in terms of low levels of traffic, good public transport and high road quality, while India's Kolkata ranked last.

  The worst city in the world for road rage is St. Petersburg, followed by the Colombian capital Bogota, according to the research.

★ Turkey's top court, the Council of state, has ruled unanimously for a stay of execution of a cabinet decision regarding the keeping of daylight savings time all year long.

  The decision came after a parent, whose identity was not disclosed, applied to the Council of State about sending her child to school in the dark before sunrise .

★ An Istanbul court ordered the release of veteran journalist Kadri Gürsel on Sept. 25 in the third hearing of the case into the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

  While ruling for the release of Gürsel, the Istanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court ruled for the continued arrest of four others including reporter Ahmet Şık and editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu.

  Some 17 Cumhuriyet staff are accused in the case on terrorism charges, with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization among the groups named in the indictments.

  Most say that the charges are completely false and is aimed at silencing the daily, which is highly critical of the rule of the Justice and Development Party and President Erdoğan.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ According to the Voice of America, in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, cameras are being installed inside taxis in a move city authorities claim will provide security for both drivers and passengers.

  But with the ongoing crackdown over last year's failed coup locking up more than 60,000 people and purging nearly 200,000 from their jobs, fears are growing that the measure is the latest effort to extend surveillance and control over the people.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey's largest foreign military base in the world opened Saturday in Mogadishu, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Somali leaders, top Turkish military officials and diplomats, reports the voice of America.

  Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and the head of the Turkish military, General Hulusi Akar have jointly inaugurated the 1.54 square mile facility, which holds three military residential complexes, training venues, and sports courts. It had been under construction for the last two years.

  General Akar said the base is the biggest sign of how Turkey wants to help Somalia. More than 200 Turkish military personnel will train some 1,500 Somali troops at a time, according to Somalia's defense Ministry.


★ The 4th Istanbul Coffee Festival was held at Küçükçiftlikpark in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district, featuring workshops and seminars related to coffee, live performances and talks with coffee experts and the world's leading baristas.

  Tens of thousands of coffee lovers flocked to the festival held between Sept. 21 and 24 to sip on different kinds of coffees from all around the world, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Most festivalgoers stayed loyal to the traditional Turkish coffee among a rich variety of coffees from all across the world.

★ Police officers helped release a tangled up dolphin washed ashore in Istanbul's Avcılar district on Sept. 25, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  Officers intervened to help the dolphin, whose tail was caught in a fishing net, without waiting for the experts since the animal looked exhausted.

  They first pulled the dolphin up with the help of a boat and then cut the net to set the sea mammal free.

  The net was then take ashore and destroyed to prevent a recurring incident.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Turkey is eyeing new tourist destinations with the "Mosaic Road," a project that aims to boost Turkey's cultural destinations, Hatice Utkan Özden of the Hürriyet Daily News reports. The project was presented in the Global Hope Coalition, an international event held in New York on Sept. 18.

  The Mosaic Road is a culture and tourism project that aims to raise awareness to the importance of mosaics found in Turkey's southern province of Hatay, the Central Anatolian province of Kahramanmaraş, and the southeastern provinces of Şanlıurfa and Gaziantep.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A two-month-old fawn, which has been found by locals in the western province of Afyonkarahisar after she lost her mother because it was blind, has undergone cataract surgery in the Afyon Kocatepe University Veterinary Faculty Health Application and Research Center, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The university's Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation, Education, Research and Application Center Director Associated Professor Emine Hesna Kandır said the new-born fawn was found some two months ago in the Sultandağı region and taken to the center.

  She said the fawn was born blind. "We have been taking care of the fawn for two months. During this process, we fed the baby with various foods suitable for the red deer. Later the female fawn, which we named Umay, underwent cataract surgery in the Veterinary Faculty," she said.

  The Veterinary Faculty Department of General Surgery member Associated Professor Kamuran Pamuk, who performed the surgery, said it was the first cataract operation performed on a deer in Turkey.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Akbank Jazz Festival, one of the longest-running festivals in Turkey, is celebrating its 27th year, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The festival, which has brought together a gamut of prestigious names of the jazz world in the past, will again illuminate the city with different colors of jazz all over between November 3 and 19.

  Among the stars to take the stage this year, our musicians from South Africa, Ecuador, Germany, Cuba, the US, Britain and Norway.

  The "Jazz at Campus" concerts, which have become a festival classic now, will also take place this year. It will bring together vocalist, lyricist and poet Jehan Barbur with university students to share the spirit and enthusiasm of jazz in Turkish provinces of Muğla, İzmir, Eskişehir, Bolu, Adana, Mersin, Kayseri and Ankara.

  Another important event of the festival, Jazz Workshops at High Schools will also be held free of charge in eight separate high schools on November 8, 9, 16 and 17 this year, which offers opportunity for young people to get to know jazz music and instruments better.

  As part of its corporate social responsibility activities, Akbank continues to work on the "The Good State of the City" project that they have been pursuing with their employees for many years, to provide young people volunteer projects. Some 1,000 young people who volunteer for the public benefit projects this year will have the opportunity to go to the Bonobo concert at Volkswagen Arena on November 11.

  The festival, the organization and content programming of which was prepared in cooperation with Pozitif, will feature 53 concerts, three interviews and 15 workshops in 36 different venues.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A stringed instrument that once belonged to a woman in the harem of Sultan Abdulaziz has been bought by a 22-year-old Turkish music student, reports the Anatolia News Agency. Abdulaziz rained between 1861 to 1876.

  Emine Bostancı, who studies at Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands, bought the three-stringed 150-year-old kemancha from a Canada-based collector for around $5,670.

  The previous owner of the instrument was Fahire Fersan, a student of the renowned Ottoman composer Tanburi Cemil.

  The kemancha is an ancient stringed musical instrument played with a bow. Its tender and melodic sound is a key component of classical Turkish music.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ 1,200-year-old church has been unearthed in Adramytteion in Turkey's western province of Balıkesir's Burhaniye district, becoming the second church to be found in the ancient city.

  Carried out by a team of 30 people and consulted by Assistant Professor Hüseyin Murat Özgen, the excavations have been continuing in the ancient city in the Ören neighborhood, with this year's works having been finished recently.

  Speaking to state-run Anatolia News Agency, Özgen said they were conducting surface survey in the ancient city for the last three years and documenting ancient artifacts.

  He said they obtained important archaeological information during surveys in the ancient city and the Edremit gulf.

  Speaking about the new findings in the region, Özgen said, "We found permanent settlement camps from the Chalcolithic age in Bergaztepe in the north of the ancient city. It continues to five to six meters in depth underground. There are also Bronze Age, Iron Age, ancient Greek and Roman settlements in the ancient city. The Eastern Roman period caused major damage to the former settlements. We are working on these cultural layers."

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A settlement from 11,500 years ago has been unearthed in the Hasankeyf Mound on the Tigris River's coastline in the fifth stage of archaeology works at the ancient town of Hasankeyf in Turkey's southeastern province of Batman, which has been initiated with the Ilısu Dam HES project protection and rescue works of the cultural heritage, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The head of the excavations in Hasankeyf, Assistant Professor Mevlüt Eliüşük, said 12 Japanese archaeologists are also working in the mound. "Excavations continued in the settlement in the first three months and then we carried out conservation work on the findings. Analyses revealed that the settlement in Hasankeyf Mound dates back to 9,500 B.C., which is 11,500 years ago," he added.

  Eliüşük said they found some fields in the excavations and they believe there were steles like the ones in Göbeklitepe there. "But the steles have not survived until today," he added.

  He said life continued for 1,000 years in the mound.

  Japan's Tsukuba University academic Yutaka Miyake, the consultant to the excavations, said the mound dates back to the beginning of the Neolithic Age and the people were hunters and gatherers.

  "They hunted wild sheep the most. As for plants, we found wild peanuts, almonds and terebinth berries. It is interesting that we did not find pieces of grain or wheat. This place was a settlement before agriculture or domestication of animals," Miyake said.

  According to him, two phases existed in the mound. "In the first phase, the architectural structure of houses was round. They dug a hole and put up a wall around it. In the second phase, they began building rectangular houses. "

  Miyake said they unearthed 120 tombs beneath the houses and there were gifts next to the dead in the tombs. Among the gifts was a stone bowl, beads and sea shells, Miyake said.

  "We detected two colors - black and red - in the bones of one third of these burials. These skeletons have line-like paint. After burying the dead, they waited for the body to decay. When the body decayed, they colored the bones with this paint. In some skeletons, the anatomic structures of the bones were preserved but bones have come loose. Then they replaced these bones back to their place," he added.

  Works in the Hasankeyf Mound is set to continue through Dec. 15.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The Roman sarcophagus of Hercules, which recently returned to Turkey from Switzerland after it had been smuggled abroad some 50 years ago, has begun welcoming visitors at its home in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The sarcophagus, which depicts the 12 labors of Hercules, was put on display in an official ceremony on Sept. 24 with the attendance of Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş.

  Kurtulmuş thanked everyone who contributed to returning the Roman sarcophagus of Hercules back home, noting that there are many other historic pieces which were smuggled abroad from Turkey. He said that there are some 57 historical artifacts Turkey is seeking to bring back.

  The sarcophagus has been put on display at the Antalya Museum along with the statue of Weary Heracles, which was repatriated to Turkey by the U.S. after 30 years abroad.

  Carved in the 2nd century A.D., the sarcophagus weighs nearly three tons with a height of approximately 53 inches and a width of 44 inches .

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A Byzantine-era stone tablet has been found during road construction in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Karaman's Ermenek district, reports the Doğan News Agency.

  Discovered in the field of farmer Ali Boztoprak, the tablet features a Greek message that says: "Hello, friend. May you receive twice that of which you wish for me," as well as the words "proastion " topothesia." The tablet was delivered to museum officials for examination.

  "The inscription is an address and starts with a familiar prayer that is also said today," said Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey University Classical Archaeology Department academic Mehmet Alkan.

  Alkan also noted that a similar prayer had been found in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Konya.

★ The four-and-a-half century-old Beylerbeyi Palace in Turkey's eastern province of Kars is being restored to open as a boutique hotel in 2018, Kars Governor Rahmi Doğan said, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  "There was a school and a dormitory in front of the school. We have made the palace visible by taking down these buildings" he said.

  Beylerbeyi Palace was built in 1579 by Lala Mustafa Paşa, who was an Ottoman Army Commander. It was damaged during the Russo-Turkish War in 1828.

  Google hosted photo of the Palace and Kars is here: Read more at >> here <<

★ The long-closed Atatürk Culture Center on Istanbul's Taksim Square will reopen after renovation in 2019, Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said.

  The minister previously said the government was preparing a "huge project" for the Atatürk Culture Center, which would be "appreciated by the entire public."

  Mr. Kurtulmuş also said they planned to establish a new museum near the Topkapı Palace in order to expand display space.

  "Turkey is short of museums. The number of artifacts in the storage of the Topkapı Palace is 10 times higher than the ones that can be displayed," he added.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ Comic strips that were followed with interest from the 1930s to the 1990s in Turkey meet with readers again at the 11th Beyoğlu Bibliopole Festival, organized by the Beyoğlu Municipality, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Even though most are sold at reasonable prices, some rare pieces find buyers for astronomic amounts.

  The festival will continue until October 2.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ The 21st Istanbul Theater Festival will take place between November 13 and 26, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The theater Festival will present a total of 55 performances by 19 theater and dance ensembles, 13 of which are from Turkey. The performances will take place across 19 different stages in 18 different venues on both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.

  The festival program also lists a number of events including panels, film screenings, master classes and workshops with the participation of international guests and experts.

  The final honorary award will be presented to world-renowned choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, who will visit Istanbul within the scope of the festival on November 18.

  The festival will also host six foreign theater and dance ensembles.

  Read more at >> here <<

★ William Armstrong of the Hürriyet daily news has reviewed the latest novel by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. Armstrong writes that in his more recent novels Orhan Pamuk has adopted a simplicity distinct from labyrinthine earlier works.

  At first glance, his latest novel "The Red-Haired Woman" continues this realist trajectory, examining the relationship between a traditional well-digger and his young apprentice. But the book develops into a complex symbolic parable, with an apparently simple story taking a darker twist. A slim work compared to the doorstoppers of "A Strangeness in My Mind" and the earlier "The Museum of Innocence," Pamuk's 10th novel is a modest 250 pages, William Armstrong adds.

  The rest of the review is here:

  Read more at >> here <<

★ A large mural showing Istanbul's phallic symbol, the Galata Tower, dominates the sunny exhibition hall of the French Institute of İzmir in the exposition "The Reverie of Space" by Gözde İlkin, reports Nazlan Ertan of the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The exhibition is the only parallel activity that the 15th Istanbul Biennial - perhaps the preeminent regular event in Turkey's contemporary art scene - has in another city this year. İlkin's tissues are already exhibited in Istanbul, in room devoted to her works at the Pera Museum

  Born in 1981 in Kütahya, İlkin first came to Istanbul to attend the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts. "I keep discovering and re-discovering Istanbul," she said, cheerful and upbeat.

  İlkin's interest lies in objects that reflect cultural codes and collective memory, so she works with fabrics found or discovered at her own home and combines stitching, needlework and paintings. With them, she creates images that almost always have a hidden meaning, almost giving a humorous wink to the spectator to suggest that there is some secret hidden in her work.

★ Istanbul's Beyoğlu Movie Theater, which was facing closure until very recently, has been restored after 28 years with the contributions of Midwood Istanbul Film Studio Complex, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

  The movie theater will host about 290 viewers at a time, one of the partners of the movie theater, Cem Altınsaray added.

★ A study revealed that Turkey ranks second in TV drama exports after US, reports the Hürriyet Daily News. The revenues from the exports is nearly $350 million a year.

  In recent years even Latin American countries started watching Turkish soap operas.

  Also, the study found that Turks spend on the average four hours of watching TV a day.

  Read more at >> here <<


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 3.57


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey:        70/54 Showers
Antalya, on the Mediterranean:    73/68 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey:       66/45 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey: 66/61 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean:             73/63 Mostly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea:        70/64 Showers
See water temperatures:
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         75
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      72
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          73
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 81


★ Volleyball:

  Turkish national women's team will be playing against Azerbaijan on Sunday for third place in the 2017 European championships. Turkey lost previously to Serbia 3 to 0. Serbia and the Netherlands with the plane for the first place.


Premiere League

Results for week: 6
Trabzon Sp      -      Alanya Sp       3 - 4
Fenerbahçe      -      Beşiktaş        2 - 1
Konya Sp        -      Akhisar Sp      2 - 0
G. Birliği      -      Başakşehir      1 - 0
Bursa Sp        -      G. Saray        1 - 2
Sivas Sp        -      Göztepe         2 - 3
Kasımpaşa       -      Kayseri Sp      1 - 1
Karabük Sp      -      Malatyaspor     2 - 4
Antalya Sp      -      Osmanlı Sp      3 - 0

In games played so far this weekend:
Akhisar Sp      -      Fenerbahçe      1 - 0
Kayseri Sp      -      Bursa Sp        3 - 1
Sivas Sp        -      Antalya Sp      3 - 1
Osmanlı Sp      -      Kasımpaşa       3 - 0
G. Saray        -      Karabük Sp      3 - 2

Standing in the league as of week ending 6
  1 - G. Saray        16
  2 - Beşiktaş        13
  3 - Göztepe         13
  4 - Fenerbahçe      11
  5 - Kayseri Sp      11
  6 - Başakşehir      10
  7 - Akhisar Sp      10
  8 - Bursa Sp        9
  9 - Trabzon Sp      8
 10 - Kasımpaşa       8
 11 - Malatyaspor     7
 12 - Alanya Sp       7
 13 - Antalya Sp      6
 14 - Konya Sp        6
 15 - Sivas Sp        6
 16 - Karabük Sp      5
 17 - G. Birliği      4
 18 - Osmanlı Sp      1


[Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]

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